Halloween Peanut Spider Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min.
The star of any Halloween party, this easy seven-ingredient recipe combines creamy peanut butter with rich chocolate to make some of the most adorable spider cookies you've ever seen!

Updated: Jul. 04, 2024

Delight trick-or-treaters this Halloween season with these spooktacular spider cookies. Combining the classic flavors of peanut butter and chocolate, these cookies are not only delicious to eat but also fun to make—the addition of candy eyes really makes them come crawling alive!

Seven ingredients and 20 minutes of prep are all you’ll need to conjure up two dozen of these irresistible arachnids that are sure to delight your guests with their whimsical, eye-catching—pun intended—design.

Ingredients for Spider Cookies

  • Peanut butter: A cup of creamy peanut butter forms the rich and nutty base of this cookie dough.
  • Sugar: A cup of granulated sugar helps to sweeten the dough and contributes to the crisp exterior of these spider cookies.
  • Egg: A large egg helps bind the ingredients together. Make sure the egg is at room temperature so the cookie dough can mix evenly.
  • Reese’s mini peanut butter cups: Serving as the body of the spider, these mini peanut butter cups add an extra layer of peanut-butter-and-chocolate goodness to these Halloween spider cookies.
  • Chocolate chips: Milk chocolate chips are melted with shortening to create the spider’s legs and attach the eyes to the body of the cookie.
  • Shortening: A teaspoon of shortening helps melt the chocolate smoothly and allows it to be the right consistency for piping.
  • Candy eyes: Candy eyes bring these spider cookies to life, giving them a creepy, lifelike appearance.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the cookie dough

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy, five to seven minutes. Beat in the egg until well combined.

Step 2: Shape the cookies

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, then place them 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Gently flatten each ball slightly with the bottom of a glass.

Editor’s Tip: For uniform cookies, use a small cookie scoop to portion the dough.

Step 3: Bake the cookies

Bake the cookies until the tops are slightly cracked, 15 to 17 minutes. Let the cookies cool for three minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 4: Add the peanut butter cups

As the cookies are cooling on the wire rack, press a mini peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie. Let the cookies stand until the peanut butter cup spider “bodies” are set.

Step 5: Melt the chocolate chips

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the milk chocolate chips and shortening together, stirring until smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip.

Step 6: Decorate the spider cookies

Use a drop of melted chocolate to adhere the candy eyes to the base of the peanut butter cups. Then, pipe eight lines alongside each cup to resemble spider legs. Allow the chocolate to set completely before serving or storing.

Spider Cookie Variations

  • Make rainbow-colored legs: Use colored candy melts instead of chocolate to give your spider cookies rainbow-colored legs.
  • Add some crunch: Mix chopped peanuts into the dough for extra texture. Alternatively, you can also use crushed salted pretzels for a sweet-and-salty flavor.
  • Use different nut butters: Swap out the peanut butter for almond butter or sunflower seed butter to switch up the flavors.
  • Add a seasonal twist: You can make this spider cookie recipe during the winter holiday season by simply swapping out the peanut butter cups for peppermint patties.

How to Store Spider Cookies

These spider cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Place wax paper between the layers to prevent the cookies from sticking to each other.

Can you freeze spider cookies?

Yes, you can freeze spider cookies for up to eight months if they’re stored properly. Freeze the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.

Can you make spider cookies ahead of time?

You can also make a batch of the spider cookie dough ahead of time. Simply shape the dough into balls and freeze them on a baking sheet. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag and store them for up to three months. When you’re ready to make the cookies, place the frozen dough balls on a baking sheet and bake as directed—you may need to add a few more minutes to the suggested bake time for the cookies to be properly baked.

Spider Cookie Tips

How do you prevent the peanut butter cups from melting too much?

Chill the mini peanut butter cups before pressing them into the freshly baked cookies. This will help them retain their shape better as the cookies cool on the wire rack.

How can you make spider cookies softer?

Slightly underbaking the cookies by reducing the total baking time will ensure that they’re softer when cooled. The spider cookies will continue to set as they cool.

Can you make spider cookies without peanut butter?

Yes, this cookie spider recipe can easily be made without peanut butter. Swap out the peanut butter in the dough for cookie butter or almond butter. For a nut-free version, you can also use sunflower seed butter in this recipe. For the bodies, use chocolate candies like Rolos instead of mini peanut butter cups.

Watch how to Make Spider Cookies

Halloween Peanut Spider Cookies

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 15 min
Yield 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 24 Reese's mini peanut butter cups
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 48 candy eyes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cream peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg.
  2. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. Bake until tops are slightly cracked, 15-17 minutes. Cool for 3 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Immediately press 1 mini peanut butter cup into center of each cookie. Let stand until set.
  3. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Transfer melted chocolate mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Use mixture to adhere candy eyes to peanut butter cups with melted chocolate mixture. Pipe 8 lines alongside each peanut butter cup to resemble spider legs. Let stand until set.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 138 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

These cute spider cookies are so easy. They'll be the star at your next Halloween party! —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Recipe Creator